Owned

nov24-owned

Trey
I’m going to keep sitting here until someone says I can’t. Call it trespassing if you want, but that’s not how I see it. I’m reclaiming what’s mine, what’s everyone’s, and if some bastard comes down here to give me shit, I’m gonna let ‘em know I’m not budging. Seriously, ever think about the idea of owning land? This guy bought it from the previous owner, who bought it from the previous owner, on down the line, but at some point, someone didn’t buy it – they just claimed it for themselves. Probably built a house, then built a fence to keep out wildlife, and people around the inlet just came to call it that person’s land. When that person wanted to move, someone who needed a house but didn’t know how to build one said they’d give him money for his. No neighbors weighed in, no public hearings were held. The transaction happened and suddenly the land that once belonged to everyone now belonged to someone. And that’s bullshit. I don’t care what the law says, I don’t respect the right to own access to the ocean, and the same goes for the sky. This guy doesn’t even own a friggin’ boat. What’s the point? So he can stare out his picture window like it’s some Paul Detlefsen panorama? I’m only one man, but I’ll stand up for what’s right, and it ain’t right he gets this view all to himself. And I’m not sneaking, either. I walk right down here and sit, dead center in his otherwise idyllic view. I’m sure it pisses him off. He’s going to come out one day and bark about it being his property like some cranky Lionel Barrymore. I expected he would by now, what with me having come nearly every day for three weeks, but I’m sure it’s coming. Just like hundreds of years ago, it’s his land, so at some point he’s going to make a stand. When he does, bring it on. Woodie Guthrie said it best, this land is your land, this land is my land. He might have been talking metaphorically, but I’ve chosen a literal interpretation. There’s a long history of great men stepping up to be the fly in society’s ointment, and I will continue that tradition. Until then, I’m going to lay back, stare at the sky, smell the tide, and enjoy my land.

Albert
I don’t know where this guy came from. I never seen him in town, and it’s not like the town’s big enough to hide in. I suppose I could ask around, but he probably comes from further up the coast, and honestly, I don’t see a need to know. He just comes and sits, seems to enjoy the place, doesn’t even leave trash behind. Once he’s gone, it’s like he was never there. Hell, it’s barely like he’s there when he is there. I suppose the cordial thing would be to go down and introduce myself, but I think about how that might seem from his point of view. He’ll hear the screen door and probably think I’m coming to run him off. I could bring lemonade. Assholes don’t come bearing gifts, right? If you believe the movies, lemonade’s a magical lubricant delivering instant relief to awkward social frictions – though the American Lemon Council probably lobbied hard to get Hollywood to tell it that way. But like I said, he’s bothering me, so why bother him? I admit, his string of appearances has gotten me thinking about putting a picnic table out there, or maybe a couple of Adirondack chairs. Maybe I’d even get out there more often myself. Not that the view is much different there than it is here, but there’s something to be said for size of the sky. Here it looks like the top layer of a painting, but out there, it’s huge. I bet Bayview Hardware has Adirondack chairs, though I don’t want those crappy plastic ones. They’d be cheap, and I doubt that word that applies to wood, but plastic would seem wrong in all the grass and water. Anyway, this guy doesn’t seem disappointed that there isn’t a chair, so I guess there’s no hurry. It’s funny to think that there’s probably been someone sitting in that spot, off and on, for hundreds of years. Before there was a house here, before there was grass, someone took a break from foraging berries or mushrooms and just sat and stared at the sky. I like that the tradition continues.

 

© 2016 WPReagan. This is one story in the 2016 series, Everyday Stories: 30 Tales in 30 Days Inspired by 30 Stranger’s Photographs.